Custom Search 1

Radio 4 to air dramatisation of Maya Angelou autobiographies

BROADCAST: The special programmes will mark Maya Angelou's 90th birthday year

BBC RADIO 4 will broadcast the first radio dramatisations of Maya Angelou’s autobiographies to mark her 90th birthday year.

Starting on June 18 with I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, the dramas will feature three “Maya Angelous” at different stages in her life, beginning in childhood with Indie Gjesdal playing the young Angelou and continuing with Pippa Bennett-Warner playing the adult Angelou.

Angelou’s remarkable works have been dramatised by award-winning playwrights Patricia Cumper, Janice Okoh and Winsome Pinnock.

Jeremy Howe, Radio 4’s commissioning editor for drama and fiction, said: “The books that make up the life and times of Maya Angelou are some of the best, most beautiful and haunting pieces of autobiography I have ever read. They run the gamut from life affirming to tragedy and back again with a tone that is a joyous, direct and searingly honest, and are an extraordinary portrait of 20th century black America.

“To turn these wonderful books into drama we have assembled the A team: between them Patricia Cumper, Winsome Pinnock and Janice Okoh have won awards aplenty and have written hours of wonderful radio drama. Radio 4's celebration of Maya Angelou is an event worth waiting for.”

Throughout her lifetime, Angelou published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, several books of poetry, and was credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning over 50 years. She won three Grammys, a Tony, a National Book Award, and was nominated for a Pulitzer.

Angelou delivered an inaugural recitation during Bill Clinton's ceremony – the first poet to do so in over thirty years and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom (the highest US civilian award) from Barack Obama.

Alongside the dramatisations, Radio 4 is working with academy award-winning animation studio Aardman to create an animation in celebration of Angelou’s life and work which will be available via the Radio 4 website.

Here’s when you can catch the special broadcasts:
Maya Angelou: I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
18 – 22 June 2018, 10:45am
Dramatised by Patricia Cumper
Produced by Pauline Harris for BBC Radio 4

Maya Angelou: Gather Together In My Name
6 - 10 August 2018, 10:45am
Dramatised by Patricia Cumper
Produced by Pauline Harris for BBC Radio 4

Maya Angelou: Singin’ and Swingin’ and Getting Merry Like Christmas
1 – 5 October 2018, 10:45am
Dramatised by Winsome Pinnock
Produced by Pauline Harris for BBC Radio 4

Maya Angelou: The Heart of a Woman
26 – 30 November 2018
Dramatised by Janice Okoh
Produced by Pauline Harris for BBC Radio 4

Maya Angelou: All God’s Children Need Travelling Shoes
7 – 11 January 2019
Dramatised by Patricia Cumper
A BBC Radio 4 production

Maya Angelou: A Song Flung Up To Heaven
25 February – 1 March 2019
Dramatised by Patricia Cumper
A BBC Radio 4 production

Read every story in our hardcopy newspaper for free by downloading the app.

Facebook Comments